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Tag: home tips

Orange Blossom Water

Why hello… apologies for the slight delay in blog posts this week. It’s been a busy one, full of joy and adventure… though with a strong sense of urgency… go, go, go. When I know I’m going to have a busy week ahead I always try to add a ‘splash’ of personal decadency – to keep the moral high at home you see. This could be putting the ‘good’ sheets on the bed come Sunday night, to insure comfort and true rest for the coming week, or simply having Maggie Beer ice cream in the freezer. Now, I’m not turning all ‘Martha Stewart’ on you (gosh… I love her though. I sometimes dream of living at Bedford) however, this week as a ‘pick me up’ I thought I would try Orange Blossom Linen Water. The Moroccans use this all the time – I had some of the best nights’ sleep while in Morocco. The fragrance aids in relaxing and ensuring rest. I have used it on the bedlinen,  as my ironing water, a room spray, on the curtains…. I even sprayed a little bit on myself mid hallway dash out the door… I love this stuff. Remarkable… and I whipped it up myself, and you can too! 1 Large atomiser (spray bottle), Howards Storage do a large clear one. 1 Bottle of Orange Blossom Water or Rose  60ml Vodka; this assists when ironing. Holds the crispness! Purified Water, just fill the remaining volume of the atomiser up with purified water ** If you have a standard sized atomiser I would halve these volumes. The one I picked up from Howards holds 1 litre. Also, don’t spray this on your sweet face; it has alcohol in it. That’s it… Gotta dash! Hope to see you over the weekend at either of our ‘pop ups’! Sweet Dreams… you will be dreaming of Marrakesh in no time! K x


Dining Room Inspirations

Here are a few of my reference images for our dining room extension. Obviously we aren’t at the decorating phase yet (refer to scary yesterday’s post), however you always need your inspiration and visuals close at hand. Most importantly you need to know how you want to live in your space.  I know that this area will be a shared zone; meaning it will spill onto the outside to take advantage of our Queensland weather. Apart from the images above I’m taking inspiration from boathouses funnily enough! Inspiration doesn’t only have to come from interior and homes magazine pages. I am thinking upholstered bench seating, lots of natural light, a strong pendant light and naturally a neutral palette. Gotta love progress! K x Images from Greige, House Beautiful, Stoke House


Floor Finale – White Washing

So the end has finally come. Above is our empty living room and also a close up of the tone and opacity of wash we achieved with Porters Paints Wood Wash. I am absolutely thrilled! Click here and here and here and here to see the progress, or just search within my blog for floor sanding. If you are thinking about doing this yourself here are my top 5 tips for white washing your floors yourself. Im sure you will be seeing more of these floors in up coming posts! Make sure you have appropriate time allocated in your calendar to do this. It is no weekender job. Things always ‘pop up’, work, social etc which will extend your allocated time line. If you are doing your entire house pack things up as though you are moving house and prepare for ultimate discomfort. Pack a suitcase for your work clothes, so it is easy to get dressed and go to work like a normal person. I would also have a couple of frozen meals in the freezer too. No one will feel like cooking. Good Sanding Preparation is vital; I hired a professional floor sander and edger,  and I also used an orbital sander and a mouse to get into the tricky little corners. Also, don’t be tight on the sanding belts and pads, buy up big in grits of 60, 80 and 120’s, you can always return them if you don’t use them. Nothing worse than running out on a Saturday afternoon when you have hired a piece of machinery and the hardware store is closed….. (yes, that did happen to me) Humidity plays a large part in the opacity of the wood wash. Obviously Queensland is very humid and I had to adjust my coats accordingly. If you think the paint is a little thick, then just add water, if you add too much water, add a bit more paint. I found I had to work fast with this product as my wood was very thirsty. The application itself is more like french polishing, not so much as the instructions infer ‘wiping off excess’. I found I would wipe off excess, though at the same time be rubbing the product into the grain and blending the brush strokes out with muslin. Always use muslin and go plank by plank. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts I was concerned about lines that had become apparent in my application. My application (two to three coats in places) also appeared a ‘little dust like’ sounds weird though that is the only way to describe it. All of these concerns disappeared as soon as the first coat of Porter’s Clearcote was applied. The Clearcote seems to settle the wood wash and enhance the visibility of the grain. We applied three coats of this. Good Luck, email me if you want to!


Sanding- Part Four Second Coat

Just incase you had forgotten, here is before. What do you think? I am super thrilled. Once textiles and furniture are added this will help soften the ‘starkness’ of the first bedroom. This time yesterday I wasn’t particularly thrilled. I was suffering from what I call ‘Floor Fever’. This is what happens to people who agonise over each and every detail of the floor application and convince themselves that this was big mistake. Mixed with exhaustion = Floor Fever! My advice would be to take a step back and get some perspective. As I was told by a friend yesterday you will never be on your hands and knees inspecting the floors like this ever again, so take a step back and see it for what it is in relationship to the whole room scape. Application.  I have been using a brush to apply the wood wash and muslin to wipe off the excess. This technique works great, however the time that is recommended to wait before you wipe the excess off was accelerated for me as it was a rather hot day in Brisbane yesterday. This happened both to the first coat and the second. Saying this I found that I had to water down my wash in the dispenser a touch as it became quite thick. Mistakes: When I applied the first coat I followed the instruction religiously. What happened repeatedly was that the wash was drying really fast as I mentioned above, which I thought was ok at the time. I think that this may have contributed to my first coat’s ‘patchiness’ and some of the wood wash getting stuck in the grooves of the floorboards (enter Floor Fever). The first coat is really important to get right, this is mine here, which I was nervous about at the time, as it sets the tone for the later applications. I actually ended up giving my boards three coats to try and minimise the patchiness. With all this new advice and technique under my wing, I start the next bedroom today! Talk soon!


More Sanding

After a weekend of sanding, edging, puttying, sanding and edging, I have some results for you! We decided to go with Porter’s Paints Wood Wash in the standard colour (no tint), which I applied today with a brush and muslin. I decided to start in the bedroom, as my sensibility tells me that the bed will hide any of my application mistakes. I’ll be doing the second coat tomorrow, which I hope will even out some of the lines of the application. I think I’m happy so far, I have wanted these floors for years, and I think it’s a good way to share the journey on my blog, especially if you too are thinking about white washing your floors. This is not for the faint hearted. Our entire house is upside down, cooking is a bit tricky, my muscles are aching in spots I have never felt before, there is dust everywhere (you just can’t help it) and life is basically cluttered and cramped. Saying this, I actually really wanted to give this a go myself and not hire a professional. Was I mad? Floors are such an important element to any room. You don’t realise until you attempt to do something major to them. They form such a strong foundation in terms of creating texture and tonal colour that dictates the room. More tomorrow! Such a big week – seeing Sibella on Thursday and Travelling Wares will be at the Powerhouse Market this Saturday too! K xxx


Floor Sanding Part Two

So, I doubt anyone will be coveting the above shot on Pinterest, though I thought I would keep it real and show you the behind the scenes chaos at our house mid sanding the floors. I am planning on posting a few more ‘sanding’ posts on route to achieving limed floor boards. So if you are interested or curious about limed floor boards, then keep checking back. Hopefully I will have some results for you soon! Gotta love a road test! Talk soon! K xx


Floor Sanding

You know when you start something and really wish you hadn’t… in the midst of celebrating the book launch of ‘Little bit of this, Little bit of that’ over the weekend, Timothy O and I decided it would be a great idea to get a start on sanding the floors before Christmas. I wish I had some ‘after’ shots to share, unfortunately we are a loong way off the ‘after’ shots. For the first time ever I really wish we had a smaller house! Happy Monday! K c


Crazy Crazing

©Kara Rosenlund I have such a weakness for faults; if it is chipped and broken I undoubtedly will love it. However, if it is crazed then that is just another story! Crazing is generally a fault that occurs in old glazed ceramics. Over time the elements such as heat cause crazing, which has a similar pattern to the Arctic ice floor melting or spider webs – lots of graphic lines and milky patterns. Keep an eye out for crazed ware! K xx


Cover Me

Being s visual person I am highly prone to being a touch impractical; I choose a book by its cover, I choose wine by the label, I choose spices by the packaging (we have way to0 many tins of smoked paprika in the pantry)….. I find details to be extremely important. One thing I love to do is to decorate and rearrange spaces using the covers of books. Even though I appreciate the graphic fonts and repetition of the spines of books in shelves, I love book covers…. especially old ones. A bundle of inexpensive books on an armchair or a randomly placed book on a side table gives a space a hint of activity and purpose. Gotta dash! Talk to you tomorrow! K xx


Brusha Brusha Brusha

© Kara Rosenlund Brushes, I really think they have been left behind in the whole eco household cleaning movement. Sometimes you need to look backwards to move forwards and where else to start than with brushes. Seriously, I use mine every day for all sorts of purposes and I’m continuously surprised by the strength of the humble bristle; dusting crumbs off the table and the stove top, wedging grim out of unusual spots, scrubbing the bottom of glass bottles, pots and pans. I pick mine up when ever is see an unusual shape or size, a good place to find them is at your local paint supply shop! Love home tips! K xx


Food Connect – ed!

©Kara Rosenlund Hold on to your seats! Look at what I have found! Its called Food Connect and it is great! A seasonal fruit and vegetable co-op based in Salisbury (there is also one in Sydney for you Sydney siders), where South East Queensland farmers bring in their stunning produce and it gets distributed into boxes for a fruit and vegetable box scheme! I know what you are thinking…. Salisbury, thats not near me….. wait…get this….a truck collects all the boxes and delivers them to ‘City Cousins’ in Brisbane City. ‘City Cousins’ are people who put their hands up and act as community collection depots. Wait, it gets better, you then find someone in your local neighbourhood who is a ‘City Cousin’ on the Food Connect website and pop over to their house and collect your box! Community building too! Voila. Local, seasonal, low kilometers and high *density fruit and vegetables! (Apparently *fruit and vegetable density is going to become a buzz phrase soon, as it relates to how much actual goodness is in the produce. Watch out supermarkets, word on the street is your stuff isn’t very dense man!) Above is the Gourmet Box which I collected yesterday from around the road! Can you believe it! There were a few more mushrooms, though I had a nibble. K x p.s the box is actually a standard cardboard box, though I wanted to pretty it up for you and place mine in a crate.


Standard Issue

©Kara Rosenlund I was out and about sourcing yesterday for a shoot when to my pure joy I came across these… Original 1968 Swags from the Vietnam War – never used! I was squealing about all over the place when I saw them; I bought a few as I think they have many different uses. The fabric is a beautiful heavy cotton and there is foam in the middle for support, plus the slip is removable for washing and ironing – could this get any better! I have mine on the front daybed at the moment, though I think they would work if you wanted to take them to the park too, or of course ‘glamping’ (thats glamorous camping Mum, I didn’t spell it wrong) and I think it would work as a chic baby play mat. What do you think? They will be available at the next Travelling Wares market, though if you are anything like me and can’t wait til then you can always email me! K xx P.S The last image is of our hyacinths out the front, see, I told you they would be appearing soon… ( Between you and me I was actually a bit worried that they would not appear at all). Here is when I planted them.



Kara Rosenlund is an Australian photographer, stylist, storyteller, adventurer and author.

Her love for authenticity and adventure is celebrated through her photography. She is passionate about Australia and how we all live within its vast landscape. Kara photographs and shares her visual stories from her adventures, inspired by the everyday people and landscapes she encounters.

Her first hardcover interiors book, Shelter - How Australians Live, will be published in October, 2015.

Above all else Kara is a lover of all things real. She shares her humble life through her Blog, Facebook and Instagram.

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